Never Too Young To Learn

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(A young woman, her daughter, and her mother come into the store. The two women stand at the courtesy desk and spend about ten minutes discussing lottery tickets. The little girl, who is about five, immediately runs around the store being a nuisance, knocking things over, and even hitting and kicking employees. Every time someone tries to get the women to pay attention to her, they just laugh about their “precious little [Little Girl].” Note that we’re in an area that is about 99% white.)

Young Woman: “We want games two through twenty.”

Manager: “Okay, that’ll be [price].”

Older Woman: “No, it won’t! That’s way too expensive!”

Little Girl: “Too expensive! Dirty n*****!”

(The whole storefront immediately falls silent. Another mother who is in my line covers her young son’s ears, looking at me, mouth agape in shock.)

Little Girl: “Dirty n*****! Dirty n*****!”

(My manager, who has been serving the two women, stares dumbstruck at them. They’re still looking at lottery games, discussing prices, completely oblivious to what the little girl is saying.)

Customer In My Line: *quietly* “Please, do something! This is horrible!”

(All the while, the little girl has been screaming even more racial slurs, getting progressively louder until she is shrieking. Finally the two women notice what she’s doing and her mother sprints over to her, smacking her across the face.)

Young Woman: “[Little Girl]! That is enough!”

Little Girl: *screaming at the top of her lungs* “YOU’RE A DIRTY N*****, TOO!”

(Her mother picks her up and runs out of the store. The older woman gives the lottery tickets one more look and then follows. The storefront is still frozen for another few moments.)

Manager: *loudly so people can hear her* “Excuse me, customers. I’d like to apologize for what just happened, and for our poor response. I hope no one was too offended or hurt, and if anyone would like to file a complaint, please follow me to the office.”

(One person follows her. She later told me the person was a neighbor of the women and didn’t complain, just empathized with my manager and explained that the whole family is incredibly racist and has a confederate flag in every window of their house. Thankfully, those people have never come back to the store.)

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